The Relationship Between Church and State in the 18th Century

422 Words2 Pages
During the late 18th century, many preachers were getting prosecuted for preaching without a license. Among the religious groups, the Baptist sent a petition to the Virginia assembly demanding freedom to worship God without the fear of prosecution. Thomas Jefferson, chosen as their advocate, accepted to support the Baptist in achieving religious freedom. Even though Thomas Jefferson perspective regarding religion differed from the Baptist, he believed it was every individuals right to practice their religion freely. With his support and work on the issue, the first amendment was added to the constitution declaring citizens were not obligated to pay taxes to the established church in order to maintain the church and ministers. Also the people had the freedom to practice their religious beliefs in whatever order they wish. With the first amendment separating the church and state from each other, many worried that religion would become weakened in America. However the results were different from what many expected. Even though many people felt religious beliefs would perish in the nation, Protestants grew stronger in unity as never before. Revivals and camp meetings began to spread in every state and attracted many to gather and listen to the preachers. “In other words a competitive religious market place had come to place in America”(Lambert 42). According to Lambert, with Protestants coming across one another in religious gatherings, they noticed how much they had in common and united in an evangelical movement (42). They all shared the belief in biblical authority and the importance for individuals to experience New Birth, through connection with God directly. Further more, the Protestants became concerned about the structure of their society and believed it needed to be reformed. The evangelicals felt there had to be changes in ways their prisons and educational
Open Document